The DPO training school led by DPOs

Welcome to The DPO Centre DPO Academy – the UK’s only DPO led professional training school that combines academic study with practical, real client experience. 

In today’s data-driven world, the demand for skilled data protection officers is at an all-time high.  

The DPO Centre Academy offers a unique programme carefully curated and delivered by experienced Data Protection Officers. An immersive and comprehensive training course with a mixture of online and in-person learning and live client-facing exposure. 

Connect with professionals from one of the largest teams of data protection officers and have the opportunity of graduating into The DPO Centre’s DPO team. 


  • 6-month earn-as-you-learn programme 
  • Additional 3-month work placement 
  • Practical & academic training 
  • CIPP/E and CIPM exams 
  • Exposure to real clients 


The programme is open to postgraduates, ideally from law or business fields, and those in a compliance role looking to reskill.

If you have a passion for data protection, with the enthusiasm and dedication to complete the demands of this course, and you’d relish the opportunity to join The DPO Centre #ONETEAM we’d love to hear from you. 


Register your interest

Next course starts:


The DPO Centre Academy Programme is a 9-month earn-as-you-learn professional DPO training course. A unique blend of theory and practice with all the essential tools you will need for a successful career as a Data Protection Officer.  

You will gain hands-on privacy experience and develop your skills whilst being employed on a fixed-term contract. 

The curriculum has been meticulously designed to provide the most comprehensive education in data protection and privacy. Soft skills training is also included, covering important DPO competencies such as communication, meeting etiquette, and time management.  

Core elements

  • 6-month online module learning
  • 3-month trainee shadowing period
  • Mentorship from experienced DPOs
  • Collaborative learning with cohort and industry experts
  • IAPP industry recognised CIPP/E and CIPM qualifications

The details

  • 9-month fixed term employment contract with benefits
  • 37.5 hour week
  • £25,000 p.a. FTE paid as a monthly salary
  • Online module learning and self-study requirements
  • Twice monthly face-to-face Inset Days to be attended in Leicester


The structured programme includes an extensive range of academic and practical activities, delivered through a blended approach of online learning, in-person workshops, and group work. 

  • E-learning modules with assessments 
  • Face-to-face workshop sessions with experienced DPOs 
  • Virtual support from academic tutor 
  • Peer support and interaction through forums and groups 
Programme Delivery


The online course is structured into modules, with content divided into weekly topics. To foster a collaborative learning environment, each module is supported by a virtual learning environment (VLE) and student forums.

You will have access to online reading lists, student groups, and resources. Tutors are also available for one-to-one support through video call or email.

Inset Day Workshops

Inset Days are held twice a month and are a mandatory part of the course. Led by experienced DPOs, these important face-to-face workshops provide learning from real-world privacy issues by diving into the challenges faced by organisations and discussing the options for solutions. 

You will be required to travel to Leicester in the East Midlands, where the workshops are held in a central location, within easy access to main train lines and road networks. 


The DPO Centre Academy Programme has been carefully designed by The DPO Centre team, with a rigorous curriculum covering the fundamentals of data protection, operational life cycles and beyond. 

Soft skills, including teamwork, client communication, problem solving, and time management are developed throughout the course as part of the co-operative learning environment and group projects.  

The modular learning approach, combined with ongoing assessments, allows trainees to develop the breadth of knowledge needed for success in a DPO role.  

Fundamentals of data protection

Fundamentals of data protection

  • Data Protection past, present & future 
  • International data regulations, data principles and processing criteria 
  • Supervisory authority enforcement & case law 
  • GDPR violations  

Privacy frameworks & operational life cycles

Privacy frameworks & operational life cycles

  • Building a record of processing activities (RoPA) 
  • Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) 
  • Legitimate Impact Assessments (LIAs) 
  • Security practices and physical assessment reports 
  • Privacy by design and tracking technology 

Tracking & managing

Tracking & managing

  • Managing vendors 
  • Mergers and acquisitions 
  • What happens when things go wrong? 
  • Retention Schedules 

Role & responsibilities of a DPO

Role & responsibilities of a DPO

  • What, when and why of being a DPO 
  • Client relationships 
  • Personal data management 
  • Rights obligations and privacy requests 

Developing a privacy framework

Developing a privacy framework

  • Creating a baseline 
  • Privacy Assessments and audits 
  • Creating a privacy programme and framework 
  • Communication is key

Reviewing & auditing

Reviewing & auditing

  • Considerations, auditing and risks 
  • The DPO Centre frameworks 
  • Audit and application 
  • Putting it all together 


To instil learning and help evaluate progress, there are both formative and summative assessments throughout The DPO Centre Academy Programme. At the end of the six-month learning period, trainees sit the final exams.

All assessments must be completed within the course deadlines. Failure to submit work or achieve the required pass mark may result in a Programme placement being revoked.

Following successful completion of the course curriculum and academic exams, trainees begin the 3-month shadowing period.  

Formative assessments

Formative assessments

  • Self-test questions
  • Moderated group discussions
  • Assessed and non-assessed exercises

Summative assessments

Summative assessments

  • Individual oral presentations
  • Written assignments
  • DPO mentoring reviews

Final exams

Final exams

  • Industry recognised qualifications
  • IAPP CIPP/E and CIPM certifications
  • The global standard certifications for privacy professionals


The DPO Centre Academy seeks to provide the most comprehensive vocational training programme for a career as a Data Protection Officer, with the additional opportunity for successful trainees to join The DPO Centre’s  #ONETEAM. 

Organisations across all industry sectors are facing the challenge of keeping up with ever-evolving data protection legislation. The DPO Centre Academy Programme provides the depth of knowledge and expertise needed to succeed in a commercial environment.

The DPO Centre sets high standards and our #ONETEAM philosophy, which is a fundamental element of our success, sets us apart from our competitors. We know what it takes to be an outstanding DPO.

Programme Aims

What you can expect from The DPO Centre Academy Programme:

  • To learn from one of the largest teams of expert DPOs
  • Exposure to real world privacy challenges
  • A rigorous course with in-depth vocational learning


Read the measures of success and contract terms


We are looking for committed individuals with the necessary drive to succeed. 


  • Organised, with the ability to manage and prioritise tasks from multiple sources
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with a keen eye for detail
  • Well presented, with a professional attitude


You will be computer literate, with demonstrable experience of organising, prioritising, and planning. You must enjoy working as an integral member of our team, but also capable of managing your own workload to deliver high quality assignments that meet expectations and deadlines.

Primarily, The DPO Centre is a customer-driven service business. We operate a relaxed and sociable environment, whilst being committed to delivering the highest standard of client care. We seek proactive, motivated and confident team players, who are passionate about what they do.

We succeed because we are #ONETEAM


The ideal applicant 

  • Honours law degree (minimum 2:2), or equivalent experience in an organisation with a link to a DPO type of role (e.g. Compliance Management, Information Governance etc.)
  • Can communicate fluently in both written and spoken English
  • Ability to travel to Leicester on a twice-monthly basis for Inset Days, and also attend occasional company events 
  • Passionate about data protection 


English speakers 

Before being considered for the programme, applicants must demonstrate sufficient English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In most cases, previous academic qualifications (which should prove at least two years’ recent study at a UK/English speaking institution) will be sufficient.

If applicants are unable to supply suitable evidence, they will have the opportunity to take the IELTS test to prove capability. Students will need an IELTS score of at least 7.0 overall, with a score of at least 6.5 in each part. This will need to be funded by the student.


Please note: We cannot accept applications from individuals on a student visa as we are not a licenced student sponsor.  


Career progression

After successful completion of The DPO Centre Academy programme, there is an opportunity for selected trainee DPOs to become junior members of The DPO Centre #ONE TEAM



A career with The DPO Centre

  • Work with a prestigious portfolio of clients
  • Opportunity to develop sector specific expertise
  • Be part of a remarkable team that delivers the extraordinary



If you have a passion for data protection, with the enthusiasm and dedication to complete the demands of this course, and you’d relish the opportunity to join The DPO Centre #ONETEAM, then The DPO Centre Academy is for you.

The programme is to open postgraduates, ideally from law or business fields, those in a compliance role looking to re-skill or someone interested to pursue a career in data protection. You need to be based in the United Kingdom with Right to Work status.

To be considered for a place, please register your interest by completing this form. We’ll reach out to you with additional details in early 2024.

Each programme intake has a limited number of spaces. Successful applicants may be placed on a waiting list for a later start date. In the event of non-attendees, waiting list candidates may be contacted up to week 2 of the programme’s commencement.


Register your interest